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Is Apple making a 12-inch MacBook? Leakers can’t agree

Introduced in 2015, the 12-inch MacBook – called simply “MacBook” – was the company’s attempt to introduce a new design language to its Mac line. At the time, the MacBook Air had huge bezels, but the 12-inch MacBook had everything a user might want in terms of aesthetics: It was thin, light, beautiful, and had a great Retina display.

Unfortunately, this computer had a few flaws: a terrible 480p camera, an underwhelming Intel Celeron processor, and only one USB-C port (whether you’d charge the device or connect a peripheral). It even had a revision in 2017 due to Apple’s poor butterfly keyboard but ended up being discontinued in 2019.

As Apple opted to give the MacBook Air the space it once belonged to the 12-inch MacBook, the Air model is now way more powerful than it could ever be during its Intel time thanks to the Apple silicon. While rumors believe the company is about to release a 15-inch MacBook Air, stories about Apple reviving the 12-inch MacBook are coming back. Here’s why Apple could – but also could not – re-release this laptop.

12-inch MacBook rumors

Last June, Bloomberg said Apple planned to release a 12-inch MacBook at the end of 2023 or early 2024. A week later, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted otherwise, as this product was “definitely not in the works.”

Now, a sketchy rumor posted to the Korean social network Naver by the user “yeux1122,” which has a mixed track of Apple leaks, suggests that Apple hasn’t decided if it will release or not this product. Here’s what they wrote:

Apple is said to be preparing to refresh the recent MacBook 12-inch model. It hasn’t been confirmed until the product launch yet, but the parts and major activities previously seem to be preparing a new product.

As early as the second half of this year, it will be confirmed whether the actual mass production will be carried out instead of the actual preparation level.

Should Apple release a 12-inch MacBook?

With today’s lineup of Mac laptops, a 12-inch MacBook would only make sense if it was way cheaper than the other Macs, as the MacBook Air comes at a reasonable price point while offering great processors and capabilities.

Knowing Apple, the company could save money by maintaining one USB-C port and a MagSafe one, adding the entry-level M1 chip in a fanless design and starting this product at 128GB of SSD and 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

If that’s the scenario, this product would be the ultimate device for portability running macOS, explicitly created for those that don’t care about specs. Even so, the M1 chip would still win in every situation compared to Intel’s entry-level processors.

Since yeux1122 gives a timeline aimed at the second half of 2023, we’ll still have time to discover if this product will ever come to life.

BGR will report back once we hear more about it.

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